And whenever you are feeling down and need a pick me up, every time something doesn't go to plan, every time you receive bad feedback or a negative response - open up your very own journal and reflect on all the positives. That is what will inspire you. Motivate you. And push you further than you have ever been.
Back in June 2015, at a book talk at a New York City public library, an audience member had asked me about Sirley Avila, the first time I'd ever heard her name. She had been attacked on May 24. I'd tried to find out more, but reliable information from Cuba is not easy to obtain. Now, less than one year later, here she was, sitting with me.
The opportunity and ability to turn one's life around is a fundamental principle of justice and of the American Dream. Unfortunately, it seems this principle of American values has gone missing from our broken justice system. Fixing the way inmates interact with the outside world is an important step in restoring it.